Established in early 2011, Prepare New York (PNY) describes itself as “a coalition of New York-based interfaith organizations” that have “joined together to help create a city-wide climate that promotes healing and reconciliation in anticipation of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.” Moreover, this coalition aims “to shift the discussion from one of fear and mistrust targeting any belief or group to one that celebrates New York’s extraordinary diversity of religious freedom and expression.” PNY says it was formed “in part as a response to the national and international headlines” of 2010 vis à vis the proposed construction of a Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan – a project known as the Cordoba Initiative, headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
A key PNY steering committee partner is an organization called Intersections International, which professes dedication to “promoting justice, reconciliation and peace across lines of faith, culture, ideology, race, class, national borders and other boundaries that divide humanity.” Intersections International identifies Feisal Abdul Rauf as one of its “partners,” and it worked on a Cordoba Initiative conference organized by Rauf’s American Society for Muslim Advancement. Funding for Intersections International derives, in part, from the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations (UNAC), which had its roots in the Iranian-driven “Dialogue Among Civilizations” conceived by former Iranian President H.S.M. Khatami.[
Another](http://prepareny.ning.com/pages/our-partners) PNY steering committee partner is the Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY), which seeks to “make New York City and the world safe for religious difference by increasing respect and mutual understanding among people of different faith, ethnic, and cultural traditions.” A supporting partner of the Cordoba Initiative, ICNY lists Feisal Abdul Rauf as one of its vice chairs and donors.
An important advisory committee partner of the PNY coalition is the Abraham Path Initiative (API), which is funded in part by the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation of Saudi Arabia. This foundation is chaired by the Saudi prince who made headlines in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, when then-New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani rejected his $10 million gift to the Twin Towers Fund for disaster relief because the prince suggested that: (a) the attacks had occurred because “our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis,” and (b) future attacks could be avoided if only the U.S. would “adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.” On the API board of directors sits Amir Mohammed Mahallati, a former United Nations ambassador from Iran who is believed to have been an early advocate of erecting an Islamic Center near Ground Zero. Mahallati was also a board of directors member of the same Interfaith Center of New York where Feisal Abdul Rauf serves as a vice chair.
For a comprehensive list of PNY’s steering committee partners, advisory committee partners, and action partners, click here.
PNY derives its funding from the following major sources:
New York Community Trust’s “One NYC One Nation Fund“: Describing itself as “a philanthropic collaborative that partners with community foundations in cities across America,” this Fund strives to “create locally focused civic engagement programs that connect diverse communities to work with common purpose for the common good.” In pursuit of this objective, One Nation promotes a whitewashed description of Islamic law which falsely claims that “the Islamic faith has historically upheld beliefs that respect women and their role in society,” and that a “central principle of the Islamic faith is respect for all religions, based on the belief that humankind universally worships the same God.”
Odyssey Networks: This coalition seeks to “build bridges of understanding among people of faith”; it lists Feisal Abdul Rauf as one of its “personalities”; and it identifies Rauf’s American Society for Muslim Advancement as one of its member groups.